The International Space Station will be deorbited, signalling its end of life, according to the American space agency Nasa, by the end of this decade.
A proposal for the creation of the US Deorbit Vehicle (USDV), a spacecraft intended to safely deorbit the International Space Station (ISS) as part of its anticipated retirement, has been made public by the space agency.
The ISS, which has been continuously inhabited since November 2000, is expected to be decommissioned in a safe and controlled manner, and the USDV is expected to play a key role in this approach.
The International Space Station (ISS), a collaboration between five space agencies, including NASA, Roscosmos, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, has been in use since 1998.
The parties have agreed to keep the station running until 2030, with Russia pledging to keep it running at least until 2028.
The station will be carefully deorbited at the end of the ISS programme to avoid inhabited regions. Based on their individual contributions to the station, the five space agencies are jointly responsible for the ISS’s safe deorbit.
In advance of the retirement of the ISS, NASA is attempting to shift its low-Earth orbit operations to privately owned and operated platforms.
This action intends to maintain access to space for study, the advancement of technology, and cross-border cooperation.
The USDV project signifies a substantial change in NASA’s strategy for deorbiting the ISS. Earlier plans included doing deorbit operations with many Roscosmos Progress spacecraft.
Recent analyses, however, indicate that a new spacecraft might offer more reliable capabilities for responsible deorbit.
The last deorbit action will be the USDV’s primary concern. It may be a brand-new spacecraft design or a change to an already-built spacecraft.
The vehicle must be operational throughout its initial flight, have enough redundancy, and be able to complete the crucial deorbit burn in the event of an abnormality. The USDV will take years to design, test, and certify because to the complexity and magnitude of this development project.